Staph Inspection was the 5th episode of Season 1  of the AfterMASH TV series, also the 5th episode overall. The episode was written by David Isaacs and Ken Levine and directed by Burt Metcalfe. The episode originally aired on CBS-TV on October 17, 1983.


A staph infection is spreading throughout the hospital and the doctors try to find out who the carrier is. Meanwhile, D'Angelo gets advance notice of a supposedly surprise inspection by the Veteran's Administration.

Full episode summaryEdit

(spoiler alert - click on expand to read)

An old army mate of Potter's named Rivers arrives to check in with a stomach complaint. Meanwhile, Pfeiffer tells Potter there's been six staph post op infections already. Potter orders skin and nasal cultures on everyone to find the carrier and stop the spread.

D'Angelo gets a call from a friend in Washington warning him of a surprise VA inspection of his hospital in two day's time. He starts the whole hospital working overtime to get ready. A rumor circulates that there will be lay offs or even closure of the hospital if the inspection fails.

Meanwhile Pfeiffer is feeling down. He hasn't located the source of the staph infection and he tells Potter about Rivers' symptoms. They point to stomach cancer and he doesn't think he can last much longer. Potter tells him not to write Rivers off just yet. He was from the 5th Cavalry, toughest bunch of boys he has ever seen. Potter wants to see the test results when they come back.

Klinger has been getting heat from Alma because his filing system is all in a mess and she has had him working hard to try and fix it. But she later finds out that the staff and patients have bottles of liquor hidden all over the hospital, which will certainly cause their inspection to fail. She needs Klinger's skills to find and confiscate them. They work out a truce. He gets her to cover for him for his paperwork mess while he helps her find all the alcohol.

Rivers' test have come back and the results are not good. Potter goes to see him and finds him talking to Bob Scannell, another of Potter's old cavalry mates. Rivers tells Potter he'd hate to become like Scannell, "Can't see, can't hear, can't hardly walk, can't even remember what else he can't do." If he had a choice he'd like to have one last cognac and pack it in before life did that to him.

It's late at night and everyone is still working to get ready for the inspection. Klinger, his desk already full of confiscated bottles, calls Soon Lee to tell her he has has a bit more to do. Meanwhile Nurse Coleman tells Potter that Rivers has taken a turn for the worse. He decides to visit him with a bottle of cognac and they spend the night drinking and talking about old times.

Klinger spots Potter leaving the ward with a bottle of cognac and wants to take it. Everything's got to be perfect for the inspection, he says. Potter refuses. He tells Klinger he has gone and gotten careful. "Where's your guts?" Life is too short to worry about some inspection. If they don't pass, they don't pass. He tells Klinger to go home. He then calls around all the staff cleaning the place and orders them all home to rest. He orders Pfeiffer home as well but then Pfeiffer tells Potter he has found the carrier of the staph infection.

It's morning and the inspectors are arriving. D'Angelo is getting ready to receive them. Potter and Pfieffer comes to tell him they have found the staph carrier. D'Angelo is delight. "I don't care what you have to do, but get rid of that clown!" They are glad to, and grab D'Angelo and take him away. He's the carrier!

A few days later, the staff listen as D'Angelo from isolation tells them on the PA that the hospital has had the highest rating ever in his 5 year tenure. He says he can "see" that this means as much to them as it does to him. "Life is too short," Klinger tells Potter. And they walk away.

Research notes/Fun factsEdit

  • The character who keeps exposing himself is addessed as "Mr. Gordon" several times by Mulcahy. So "The Mad Buffer" character (Jerry Anderson) might be the person who is always polishing the floor but repeatedly loses control of the machine.
  • This is the first episode in Broadcast order where Jay O. Sanders appears in the main credits. The first episode where he is credited in Production order is actually "Shall We Dance".

Main castEdit

Guest stars/Recurring castEdit

  • Charles Tyner as Rivers
  • James Gallery as Gordon
  • Pat Cranshaw as Bob Scannell
  • Britt Leach as Ellery Gilbert
  • Lois Foraker as Nurse Coleman
  • Jerry Anderson as The Mad Buffer
  • Linda Hoy as cashier
  • Ed Morgan as customer
  • Barry Jamesby as customer
  • Patricia Gaul as nurse
  • Caleb Aschkynazo as patient
  • Anne Haney as operator
  • Don Dolan as orderly
  • Natasha Bauman as nurse
  • Florence Pepper as nurse
  • Wycliffe Young as orderly

External linksEdit

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